Dr. Carson on Vaccines: ‘We Should Not Allow’ Diseases to Return ‘By Foregoing Safe Immunization’

Barbara Boland | February 3, 2015


The media is asking all likely Republican presidential candidates their opinion on the vaccination debate, and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson didn’t pull any punches in his answer: “Certain communicable diseases have been largely eradicated by immunization policies in this country and we should not allow those diseases to return by foregoing safe immunization programs, for philosophical, religious or other reasons when we have the means to eradicate them,” he told The Hill in a statement.

Carson prefaced his remarks with a commitment to individual and parental rights: “Although I strongly believe in individual rights and the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit, I also recognize that public health and public safety are extremely important in our society.”

Another doctor and likely Republican presidential candidate, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was skewered on CNBC for his statement that “vaccines are one of the greatest medical breakthroughs that we’ve had, but that for most of our history vaccines have been voluntary” and that “I guess I don’t understand... why that would be controversial.”